EP: Can you actually prove it from SCRIPTURE???

Discussion in 'A capella Exclusive Psalmody' started by kevin.carroll, Jan 3, 2006.

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  1. kevin.carroll

    kevin.carroll Puritan Board Junior

    Well, folks, believe it or not, I am NOT agitating with this question. I would really like to see the biblical rationale behind EP. If I am wrong, I would like to correct.

    But please note, I said BIBLICAL rationale. All too often on this board someone will post a mind-numbingly long cut and paste post from a Puritan as if that is supposed to end the debate.

    To borrow from Luther, unless I am convinced from the Bible, I will not change my worship patterns based on the opinions of men, because we contradict ourselves.

    Having said all that, I am disgusted for what passes as worshipful singing in so many churches. Our post-modern distaste for doctrine has left the church with a commercial jingle approach to worship. Frankly, the best hymns I have ever encountered were based on the Psalms...but that's not really singing the Psalms, is it?
  2. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    :worms: again...sigh!
  3. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    For me, singing the psalms is just safer. Based upon that premise, it is a no brainer for me.

    As far as binding anyone's conscience with this premise, I will not. It is my conviction. In this, I believe we will have less the chance to break Gods regulative principle.
  4. kevin.carroll

    kevin.carroll Puritan Board Junior

    A fair answer. I will readily agree that one can hardly go wrong singing the Word.
  5. Joseph Ringling

    Joseph Ringling Puritan Board Freshman

    I haven't really read much on the subject, but from my avatar and sig you'll notice that I'm not EP. I don't however believe in just Hymns but that the Psalms should be sung as well. Although I have no training in exegesis and know basically nothing about the Biblical languages as some hear do, some of the verses that stand out to me are the following:

    Matt. 26:30, Mark 14:26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

    Eph. 5:19; addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart

    Col 3:16 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
  6. Joseph Ringling

    Joseph Ringling Puritan Board Freshman

    You said both Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16 could be forms of triadic expression. I take that to mean that they don't know for certain. If that's the case then why do some bind the conscious of others if it can't be know for certain?

    Food for thought indeed.
  7. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

  8. CalsFarmer

    CalsFarmer Puritan Board Freshman


  9. Joseph Ringling

    Joseph Ringling Puritan Board Freshman

    I agree with our brother Scott. Like our brother Kevin Carroll said "one can hardly go wrong singing the Word. But the quesion is should the Psalms be sung exclusively?

    [Edited on 1-3-2006 by Joseph Ringling]
  10. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    :lol: We know...it's just seeing the thread listed was enough to produce a groan. :p
  11. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    That shouldn't be the question to ask. The concern should be over if singing anything else but the Psalms could break Gods command and the RPW.
  12. Joseph Ringling

    Joseph Ringling Puritan Board Freshman

    Scott, I agree with you to an extent. So let me ask you this, where did God ever command in His Word that the Psalms should be sung alone with no musical instruments? This is the EP conviction is it not?

    As far as the RPW, it's not being broke if Scripture teaches that Psalms, Hymns, and spiritual songsshould be sung, no?
  13. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    Lets not address instruments just yet. Lets deal with one issue at a time.

    Please define what a hymm is?
  14. kevin.carroll

    kevin.carroll Puritan Board Junior

    Well, that is my question. I agree with those who have noted that the verses cited above employ Greek words that were used in the LXX of the Psalms. What is not clear, however, is if Paul's Gentile readers would have understood it that way. Additionally, I have never seen a satisfactory answer from EP proponents regarding the Christologic hymn of Php. 2 or of the non-EP singing depicted in heaven in Rev. 6. Again, not arguing...just wanting to interact and learn.
  15. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    I cannot define the term conclusively, hence, singing Hymms may be a break in the RPW and sinful; until that time I do have a clear understanding of the definition, I will sing the Psalms only. In this way, I am being prudent.
  16. Joseph Ringling

    Joseph Ringling Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks for giving me more to think about.:up:
  17. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    Scott, with respect, i am not sure if this is exactly the way to go about this issue. Please believe i do not intend any insult, but the philosophy of 'avoid something because i am not sure of its lawfulness' is what Paul ascribes to the 'weaker brother' in his passages on christian liberty. Hence i do not think that should be our first approach to determining what goes on in worship.

    I do believe that the RP i supposed to make it such that we have confidence and certainty in worship. It was not given to create painful confusion and force us to study ancient history or obscure usage of greek words to know how to worship God.

    I know this is a confusing issue to many and it is one i have not yet studied in detail. Yet looking at all these threads i truely wonder if God intended this kind of debate over those simple verses in Eph and Col.
  18. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    Should we not err on the side of caution? The weaker brother Paul is addressing thought eating meat offered to idols was sinful. Paul enncourages us to not bind the conscience of the weaker brother; let him not eat meat. The weaker brother is erring on the side of caution. This is to be commended. When the brother becomes stronger in knowledge, he will in right conscience be able to partake of that which God has labeled clean.

    In the same way, all of us whom do not have this premise clear in our minds, should err on the same side of caution......my 2 cents.
  19. Arch2k

    Arch2k Puritan Board Graduate

    I think it is most likely that they would have understood it this way, but I grant it is POSSIBLE that they would not. Either way, I think using scripture (i.e. LXX) to interpret scripture is a better method than trying to define "hymn" and "song" using secular sources.

    I can't say that I am familiar with associating this passage with a hymn. Can you enlighten me?

    The passage in Revelation should be taken in light of eschetelogical language. If we want to include everything that is revealed in Revelation in the worship service, we should have no problem with inscence or sacrifices!
  20. Arch2k

    Arch2k Puritan Board Graduate

    Actually, to bind a person's conscience with a duty that is NOT clear in scripture militates AGAINST Christian liberty. Our conscience must ONLY be bound to the Word of God in worship, and to impose duties outside God's word is to introduce the commandments of men as something binding to the Christian.
  21. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    There is no explicit command. We all know that. The argument is based on implication. Those who hold EP do so, because that is the assumed practice of the Jews before Christ, and since there was no indication of change after Christ and no explicit command to compose new hymns, then the practice continues, and Paul is simply using the common vernacular of psalms, hymns and songs as a common reference point to the people of his day in reference to the Psalms. Of course this involves a whole bunch of assumptions which have yet to be proven, along with some debatable use of those words in the Greek. There doesn't seem to be any evidence of other hymns used in worship prior to Christ, nor soon after, other than prophetic songs.

    Those holding to non-EP as well, hold certain assumptions, assuming that free composition of hymns was a regular part of worship in the apostolic age (and maybe even before), and interpreting Paul to refer to those hymns, along with assuming portions of Scripture like the passage you mentioned in Phillipians are early hymns too (which I have yet to see proven, though it is clear they could be poetic).

    Which is why, with Scott, I dont' try to bind anyone's conscience with EP. It is certainly safer theologically. But that is not enough to ban hymns. Many hymns are perfectly safe theologically. So, until the church comes to a better understanding, I subject my practice to the leadership of the Church in this area.
  22. Arch2k

    Arch2k Puritan Board Graduate

    I found this argumentation regarding this passage from A Review of Exclusive Psalmody by Richard Bacon:

  23. jfschultz

    jfschultz Puritan Board Junior

    I had started reading Jeremiah Burroughs' Gospel Worship where he discusses the fate that befell Nadab and Abihu. During my lunchtime reading there was this statement. "Though I told you that we do not find in any place of Scripture directly in words that this fire was forbidden, they should have gathered God's mind by consequence." That is that there was a fire that God provided. (This in on page 28, but there are similar statements on earlier pages.)

    Scripture does not contain words to forbid the singing of uninspired hymns, but God did provide the words for songs in the Psalms. Is this sufficient to "have gathered God's mind by consequence?"
  24. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    (Guess the situation is solved for me...there is not a single EP church in the area and we haven't sung a single psalm in the month we've been at the OPC...choruses and hymns)
  25. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Why not suggested singing one once in a while to the pastor? BTW, who is the pastor at Berks OPC? I couldn't find one mentioned anywhere on the church's website.
  26. CalsFarmer

    CalsFarmer Puritan Board Freshman

    Please and spare the grins....
  27. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Chris, you have a U2U...
  28. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    Regarding this issue, I follow the guidance of the leaders at my church. We currently sing Hymns, so I sing hymns without conviction. If I was to be convicted on this matter I would do a disservice to the church and be left without a church that sings Psalms exclusively being that there are few reformed churches in the area none that I know of sing psalms exclusively.

    I have not been convinced that psalm-only worship is the only way. Just like the uninspired confessions, that we cite and teach and proclaim, hymns are not inspired, but are a sung form of confession.

    Jesus asked Peter who he thought Jesus to be. Peter could have rightfully quoted scripture, but instead he answered by way of confession. "You are the Christ Son of the living God." Jesus commended Peter for his confession. Could this rock have said such a confession in form of a song? I don't know why not?

    I like how Donald Van Dyken explained this in his book Rediscovering Catechism: The Art of Equipping Covenant Children: "Christ in the word confronts the Church.... The Church answers by confession.... She receives the benediction of God upon her answer...." And, "Where the Bible is God's word to man, the confessions are man's words to God."

    To play it safe with song, we should play it safe with the creeds and confessions and I guess even the sermon, none of which are inspired verbatim from Holy scripture.
  29. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    and yes I do realize that the author and book I linked are from a Psalm singing website operated by an EP denomination.


    [Edited on 1-3-2006 by ChristopherPaul]

    [Edited on 1-3-2006 by ChristopherPaul]
  30. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    Josh, I think that was the point John was making. I sing the Psalms only because that is the only hymnal God has given to the church. God has been gracious to place a book of praises right in the middle of the canon of scripture; when he gives command to sing his praise I expect he intends these songs. As for a positive command not to sing anything else, we can't find anything in express terms, but I take God's directive not to add to or diminish from what he's commanded, his judgment against strange fire, denunciation against will-worship and all other scriptures which militate against innovation in doctrine or worship as sufficient. There are many objections to singing the psalms only without the hymns of men such as supposed hymn fragments in the NT, the songs of Revelation, Hezekiah's song, etc. but I will leave these problems to the theologians except to note that our opposites, who seem to think this proves UH, do not advocate the use of these particular songs (or alleged songs rather) but the songs of Watts, Cosby, Wesley or whatever's popular in CCM
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